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/qst/ - Quests

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The year is 1943 EC. While the continent of Europa has enjoyed a relative peace after the Second Europan War, a similar hellscape coated and ravaged the nations of the Far East.

You are Subaru Kurokawa, son of Vice-Admiral Kagetora Kurokawa of the Zipang Combined Fleet, and the battle chief of the super battleship Yamato. With your country under the subjugation of an ascendent Tengar Khaganate, the remnants of Zipang’s military establishment, along with powerful allies from the East Europan Imperial Alliance, came up with a daring plan to restore your country’s independence: Operation Ten-Go.

Despite some rough run-ins with the Khaganate’s Beiyang Fleet, your crew was successful at hijacking the Valkyrur-powered Yamato, seizing not only the battleship, but also several fighter prototypes, and unexpectedly, a princess in tow. Now, after a short skirmish with the Nanyang Fleet in your trek south, Yamato has finally reached her first destination: Formosa.

It was also here where you were given your first shore leave. Then, singling you out during dinner, the acting Captain of the Yamato, Nagamasa Suwabe, revealed a great secret about Zipang’s national treasure and his intention to use said treasure to rebuild a new ‘Zipang’ somewhere else. At the same time, he also issued a grave warning about foreign actors who had their eyes primed for said treasure.

As the preparations in Formosa continued, it appears that the Khaganate has begun making their moves as well, starting off with a direct attack upon Amekou, Formosa’s northernmost port. You emerged unscathed and proceeded to investigate a downed enemy bomber, and after a brief skirmish, managed to capture one of its surviving crew members. Then, with the help of your friends, you managed to extract precise battleplans of the Nanyang Fleet.

Nothing is all good and well, however, as the quick-footed Beiyang Fleet launched a surprise attack on Amekou right as the Yamato was about to set sail. Unfortunately, this ended up with your sister, Tewi, taken hostage by the enemy, then subsequently perishing within the chaos.

Thankfully, your crewmen were there for you during these hard times. Though the grief still lingered, you found yourself in a better mindset to carry out your duties. This “duty” however, was a much different challenge, to say the least.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Pacific%20Theatre
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NytoObelisk
Character Sheet: https://pastebin.com/FtzLDyHr
Combat Mechanics: https://pastebin.com/ZCzrjrcL
Updates: My updates usually come in the form of long posts, and also takes some time to write. But alas, I would try my best to put out at least 1 long update per day. Every update will receive a notification on my twitter.

Apologies for the long absence, everything should be in place now
The Captain’s chamber should be a good place to start. Captain Suwabe did mention leaving everything I would need in the chamber. If he has personally seen the microfilm’s contents, there must be tools to access the contents within his reach.
Making up my mind, I laid a blanket over Margaret’s shoulders before leaving the Valkyria to drift deep into her dreams.

In no time, I found myself back where I started, in the exorbitant suite known as the Captain’s chamber. Not only did this chamber pack its own office unit, a dining room with a standalone open kitchen, a bedroom in the further end and even a bathroom with a bath-tub larger than the one I had back home, it was also decorated with fancy, ornate furniture at every corner. The sheer size and design of the compartment made it feel much more like a penthouse than the office of the ship.
I had to question the amount of effort and resources that must’ve sunk into creating this room, but it does make sense considering who it was originally intended for.

I quickly turned towards the office unit, the area where the Captain’s desk and log cabinets are kept. Four towering shelves crammed with books and documents flanked the working desk, like meaning monoliths. Standing in the shadow cast down by these shelves, the very sight of these dense collections held within them was enough to press significant stress upon my shoulders.

Let’s see what I could find here…
As heavy and abundant these logs and collections were, it quickly dawned me that I have not idea where to start. Skimming through the large collection, I found my sight trained on one specific item...

A thick binder labeled “Records from the Tengar-Goguryeon Conflict” sitting idly on the shelves piqued my interest. As far as I am aware, it was the last major conflict on the Assuwa mainland and the first conflict where warplanes played the central role on the battlefield.

I flipped open the binder, then began going through its contents in detail. During the bulk of the Yu Dynasty’s brutal civil war, military aviation was largely limited to reconnaissance, artillery spotting and ferrying of resources. However, the peninsular kingdom pushed this new technology three steps farther

The Goguryeoan engineers were as ingenious in this new technology as the Gallians were in their tank design. Ever since the debut aviation back in 1935, Goguryeo engineers have seen the limitless potential of dominating the skies. When the soldiers of the Khagan first set foot in Goguryeo soil, they were met with a hail of fire raining down on them from the skies above fierce enough for their hardened veterans to call off the initial invasion.
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While the rest of the world was still experimenting with canvas-and-wood gliders and biplanes based on the ISARA, the Goguryeo Kingdom were already designing and building prototypes of wood-and-steel monoplane fighters and attack aircraft. Not only had their engineers designed something never even considered possible by their contemporaries, but they also made it fly, and made it fly way too well.

However, these vastly superior designs alone were only half of the reason that made the Goguryeo air force as formidable as it was. As it turned out, the Goguryeon have been training dedicated pilots ever since they built their first flying machine, and these airmen were as capable in combat as their engineers were ingenious. The combination brought decimation upon the invaders and effectively forced the war to a muddy stalemate.

Of all the major players in the conflict, the Phantom Swallows of the Goguryeo Kingdom stood at the center of attention. I’ve known their feats through the word of mouth, but this was the first time I’ve seen their combat records in such meticulous detail.

The first noteworthy part was pilots. The training for the pilots was done at a special academy, which began recruiting potential candidates at a young age ever since Goguryeo built their first aircraft. The swallows - or rather, what would later become known as the swallows - were the cream of the crop from their classes in the academy. Each and every one of the eighteen members who later formed the unit was brought together at the young age of fourteen, where they spent the next part of their lives together, from training to everyday life.

For these top brasses, an extraneous, exclusive training regiment formed where their role was to test out new creations until their engineers came up with a model that was deemed most ideal. It was said by the time the original eighteen left the academy, they’ve spent so much time in the air that they’re practically as much “bird” as they are human. Once they’ve entered active service, they have issued a uniquely designed aircraft model constructed with data they helped gather --- The “Inmyeonjo” fighters.

To best match the pilots’ abilities, this specific model was lightly armored but possessed a high-lift, low loading structural design. This resulted in the capability to stall at very low speeds as well as phenomenal climb speed, which contributed to the plane’s renown“Swallow-like” maneuverability... Or so the document stated, as I read through this part of the document filled to the brim with technical terms I could barely understand. Through some inference, I believe this was why the Swallows could appear out of nowhere, carry out their operation, then disappear into the clouds just as quickly as they made their entrance.
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I recounted the day of our hasty retreat from Amekou. Those “new models” from that flew over our heads certainly didn’t look like the Inmyeonjos detailed here, but definitely behaved in a similar fashion. I turned over to the next page, which detailed some of their tactics during the conflict.

In magnificent shows of acrobatics, the Swallows would conceal themselves by flying in thick clouds, make almost vertical sharp dives to assault enemies from above, then retreating into the safe covers of the clouds. These pilots basically conducted guerilla warfare in the skies- and with this sort of maneuverability and precision, it’s easy to see why the swallows were so feared.

However, the Swallows excelled foremost in direct interdiction, paltering enemy supply lines, sentries, and temporary command centers behind the lines. With the Goguryeoans’ knowledge their home terrain and their air superiority, gathering intelligence on enemy positions and logistics were no difficult task. As a result, these highly accurate hit-and-run raids turned in extraordinary results.

But what really shattered the invader’s morale was the “Swallow”, but the “Phantom” in their title. It denoted a feat far more impressive, a feat that allowed the Phantom Swallows to become a household name---
These pilots were known to carry out these kinds of interdiction strikes regardless of day or time, even in the dark of a new moon night, and strike with the same precision as they would in broad daylight. It was said that many of the Khan’s line troops of the returned home suffering severe insomnia and paranoia after the war ended...

I rubbed my eyes to made sure I haven’t misread the words. How is this even possible?
Not even the archives have an answer, with the only explanation being “The Swallows pinpointed their targets through experience.”
That barely amounted to an explanation at all. Night vision is one thing, but spotting a target the size of a thumbnail at the dark of the night, all the while flying an aircraft amongst the clouds? Whatever can do that isn’t a human!

Moreover, if the Swallows could carry out small scale precision strikes at night, then they could also carry out the guided bombardment runs we’ve seen in Amekou in a similar fashion.
A trickle of sweat ran off the side of my time as the revelation slowly sets in. The more I read about these people, the less human they appeared to be.

However, as I read on, I began to learn that despite all these insane feats of combat records that decorated the Swallows, they were not invincible.
Designed for extreme speed and maneuverability meant that the Inmyeonjo had little room for additional weight- be it additional fuel, munition or protective structures.
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This meant they were unable to engage in prolonged battles, nor can they withstand any more than bare minimum punishment. Despite the swallows’ near-superhuman abilities, soldiers of the Khanate did manage to respond to their threat and develop new anti-air measures, which did manage to take out a third of the group throughout the course of the war.

While Swallows have gotten new models, I doubt the design philosophy of the aircraft would stray too far away from the old Inmyeonjo. In the end, the best way to kill a swallow was to… outlast him. The immediate solution popping to mind was to refit our fighters with thicker armor, but I doubt that hasn’t been tried before.

I suppose the whole issue’s way easier said than done

I flipped to the end of the report, which detailed what finally gave a devastating blow to this formidable force. In the final stages of the war, the Khaganate finally deployed their most powerful asset: A Valkyria simply known by the name of “Altera”.
“Scourge of the Khagan”, “Sapphire Sandstorm”, “The Conqueror” or simply “Chanyu”, Altera has a whole book of titles bestowed upon her.

From tales of sacking a dozen cities within three days to the lavish pleasure dome she was gifted with, every single account of this individual was larger than life. While I have witnessed Margaret performing some incredible tasks, the accounts of Altera’s feats still looked like something straight out of mythology. Rumors are that even her appearance was quite ‘alien’ in nature.

For her ‘bird hunt’, the Chanyu gathered a fleet of 20 heavy biplane bombers, then strapped herself on top of one and it like a chariot. She then ordered all aircraft to fly in a large bombing formation, with the goal to lure out the swallows with a juicy target for her wipe them out with her autocannons and spiral lance.

The plan worked - Twelve surviving Swallows appeared out of the clouds to engage the Chanyu, unaware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The next couple of records described their engagement less like an actual military report, and more like an epic told by bards of antiquity. The Swallows would swerve and make sharp turns, trying to avoid Altera’s blasts as best as they could while taking shots at her “steed.”

But the Scourge of the Khagan wasn’t a title for show, as each of her strikes was precise, on target, and undoubtedly as devastating. While the swallows ultimately managed to down the Chanyu’s aircraft, they ultimately failed to kill the Chanyu, who only suffered minor injuries, while they suffered more losses on that day than the entire rest of the war combined- only five of the original swallows survived to see the end of that day.

With the swallows' numbers severely thinned, the Khaganate’s now much more advanced anti-air strategies in the form of fire webs, proved extremely challenging for the regular airmen of the Goguryeo Air Force to breach.
Sensing the tides gradually turning against them, the Goguryeo Kingdom finally took up the Khanate’s offer to negotiate a conditional surrender.

I searched for the name within the combat report at hand, then looked further in the piles of binders in the archive. To no surprise, I was met with a plethora of files labeled with the name of the Khagan’s Valkyria, enough to keep me occupied for a good while.
I roughly sorted the files by date, then sat down and began skimming through the contents.

The first item of interest I found was a photograph of the mystical Valkyria herself.
Altera’s skin tone and features made her quite alien among those who share her cryptic heritage, and even more so for the common folks of Assuwa. Her choice of garment and her tanned and heavily tattooed body contrasted heavily with the more contemporary image of a pale, chaste war maiden commonly associated with the term ‘Valkyrur’.

Surprisingly little was known of Altera's origins, nor of her life before her servitude to the Khagan.
The earliest accounts of Altera were about her actions in the Tengar-Yu War, of which her role in helping the Khanate conquer the old Yu Empire brought her into prominence. While the details of these records varied from source to source, all accounts emphasized certain eccentricities in the Valkyria's character, as well as her unrealistically magnificent exploits.

It was said that as Altera wielded the Koyash- her sword-shaped artifact- the tattoos on her body would give off a light bluish glimmer in the heat of a battle, glistening like stars in the night sky against her dark, tanned skin. In this state, she would wreak havoc on anything in her wake, her sword scything down all life that dared to stand before her path as she danced gracefully on the battlefield, carefree like a child.

There certainly was no shortage in documents detailing the illustrious combat achievements of this individual, yet the insight these ‘records’ provided turned out quite… nebulous, as a result of how they were written.
From sinking a battleship by cleaving it cleanly in half to making thousands surrender by simply showing up, Altera's exploits seemed so outrageously impossible it would make anyone call into question the validity of these records themselves.
To read through them was akin to reading an epic of a mythological figure, except these tales, were all documented by military historians and backed with photographic evidence.

Regardless of how much truth lies behind these tales, by the end of the war, she was given the title of “Chanyu”, elevating her status to the equivalent of a major lord. The title would only mark the beginning of the honors and luxuries to be bestowed upon her by the Khagan, as tokens of his appreciation to those of use to him and had done him great service.
To this day, Altera was seen as a national hero by the Khanate, much to the likes of Crown Prince Kuri, Prince-Marshal Temur, and Lady Admiral Sima. However, a further read delving into the non-combat aspects of her life revealed her as an even more eccentric individual.

From roaming around restricted areas in the forbidden palace as she felt like to walking out of important meetings, dismissing them as “uninteresting” and “time-wasting”, Altera’s behavior could be described as entitled at best, and insolent at worst. Despite serving under the Khagan, she barely acknowledged the existence of anyone within the royal court, the sole exception being the Khagan himself and his oldest son, Crown Prince Kuri.

Though the Khagan ordered his court to tolerate this sort of behavior, Prince Kuri eventually suggested to leave her out of such matters unless absolutely necessary. It was safe to say that the Chanyu’s relationship with the Khagan’s subjects was best described as “a wild beast amongst men.” At times, it became hard to tell who had the authority in the royal court.

In a strategic move by the Crown Prince, Altera was given the domain of Xanadu, a frontier city on the border between the Empire and the Khaganate. A major railway hub that linked the Khan’s home domain to the Yu territory, Altera’s presence in the area could not only deter the Empire from any aspirations of Eastern expansion, but her relocation could also remove a source of stress for the royal court itself. To keep the Chanyu happy, she was given complete freedom to do whatever she liked, and… she certainly did.

The lavish and hedonistic lifestyle was probably Altera’s second most well known personal trait. With a seemingly insatiable taste for everything grandeur, the first orders Altera gave after arriving in her new post was to transform her already lavish estate into an even more extravagant palace, naming it the “Deer Terrace Pavilion”.

The ensuing construction was an all-encompassing garden spanning over 55 hectares, with a circumference of 3.8 km. There, Altera would conduct her own little hunting expeditions as she desire, where the big game would be brought into this clearing for her to hunt in leisure.

Riding on horseback and brandishing an ornate bow made of the finest materials, the Chanyu chased down deer, tigers, leopards, bears, hares, and wolves. Occasionally, Altera would embrace her nomadic roots, erecting her own tent to live in the gardens. The Chanyu thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the natural environment, and the escape it provided her from urban life.
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Altera’s hunger for new, better hunt gradually caught up with her, and the Chanyu grew increasingly wary of the roster of beasts she could hunt in her garden. To satisfy her near-insatiable quench for the game, the Pavilion underwent another major reconstruction. This time, it had been divided into three sectors, each housing a different biome for various rare and exotic beasts, imported for the Chanyu to hunt to her heart’s desire.

I placed away from the documents, then relaxed onto the soft cushions decorating the back of my chair, and exhaled.
That was a lot to digest.

From the inhuman air acrobats of the Phantom Swallows to the even more ridiculous Altera, the Captain’s archives have blessed me with a much clearer picture of the caliber of enemies we may encounter on this operation. So far, these accounts have only fueled my headaches.
Then again, we were facing off the Beiyang Fleet, the most formidable naval force in this part of the world. As the sayings go, knowing your enemy is half of the battle.

From the side side of my eye, I noticed the clock that hung onto the wall to my right. Its ornate metal hands struck precisely on 6:30...
It’s been this long!?
I immediately sprung out of my chair in surprise as realization dawned. So deeply drawn was I into reading these documents, I seemed to have ignored the flow of time. While I certainly would love to read more into Captain Suwabe’s massive library of archives, I can’t stay here forever.

Right as I stood up from my seat with the full intention to leave the room, a glimpse at the gigantic machine sat opposite to my desk reminded me of the reason I came here in the first place. After returning the files to the cabinets they came from, I made some space on the table in preparation to activate the heavy projector. I then headed for the file cabinet on the leftmost corner of the room, the spot to which the captain’s safe was secretly installed. I reached into the small pouch I wore around my neck for the small key the Captain has entrusted me and unlocked the safe, picking up the ‘tamatebako’ within.

Unlike its splendid, museum artifact-esque casing, the actual ‘treasure’ was utterly unremarkable in appearance. It’s simple, chromatic gray plastic roll stood out like a sore thumb against the hand-crafted, ornate golden and black lacquerware casing. In fact, I doubt anyone would pay the film any attention if I were to place it on top of the shelf.

...Well, there’s no way in hell I’d leave this out in the open.

I returned to the machine on the desk and picked up the instrument’s manual placed under it. Despite how menacingly complex the projector looked, the controls were surprisingly simple and easy to follow. In no time, I have the film in place and ready to go.
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As I pressed the power button, the machine boots up with a low growl, like a behemoth awaking from a deep slumber. Several mechanical noises followed, including the sound of the film reeling, then a sudden bright flash that lights up the screen before my face, leaving a blank projection of white. Carefully, I adjusted the positioning of the film, making sure the lens aligned with the first slide of the long film.

When I was finally able to get the focus right, I rotated projection upright, then carefully examined its cryptic contents. I quickly recognized the contents to be a long page of… gibberish.
Gibberish, in the form of a page filled with numbers with some occasional kana popping in here and there.
However, one thing on the page did catch my attention - the header.

23- シラヌヰカ カミナリノ ソナタ (23 - On the far end of shiranuwi or lightning)

Separate from the rest of the text, this header was the only line on the page that had a full, discernible sentence. The page that formed a somewhat cohesive sentence. This has to be the “first step” to deciphering the encrypted contents on the page, yet something felt… off.

First of all...‘Shiranui’? Surely that would mean the will-o-the-wisp, but I’ve never seen it spelled this way before. Was that a misspelling? But with a document as important as this, I doubt there would be any room for even the most minute of mistakes. Perhaps there’s some ulterior reason for it… could it be deliberate?

Secondly, the sentence as a whole. These words formed a basic sentence, yet the sentence itself made little sense. Moreover, the ‘23’ at the start just added to the mystery. Was it meant to symbolize the sequence to which the page should be placed in?
If that’s the case, then surely the document has to be reorganized to be properly processed?

I crossed my arms as I pondered what meaning could be hidden behind the sentence when suddenly the Captain’s words rang in my mind.

The Iroha, was it?
Originating in the Heian era, the Iroha was a tanka- a short poem written by a Buddhist monk in reflection to the fleetingness of existence. Other than the philosophical message, what made the Iroha truly unique was the way it was composed: it used every character of the Zipangnese syllabary exactly once each. Due to this unique characteristic, it was used as the official ordering for the syllabary until the end of the Shogun’s rule and the adoption of a westernized phonetic alphabet system. While mostly obsolete in common use now, it was still a quite popular piece for calligraphy practice… which I happened to have done plenty in my younger days.
Surely the Captain won’t lie about a matter as important as this, yet at the same time, he wasn’t exactly clear on what was to be done.

He probably believes that I could solve the cipher by myself. The question now is, what should the first step be?
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The Captain specifically mentioned the Iroha to be the key to the cipher, which most likely applies to this header as well. If I were to convert the letters by their numerical sequence accordingly, I would get:

23 - 42 22 10 25 14 14 41 21 9 26 18 21 16

The page might still be largely cryptic, but this was at least some progress. I suspect this header should be a ‘guide’ to understand the contents of this page, but…

I’m still not sure what my next step was supposed to be. I know I should do something with the numbers, but what exactly?
Isolating all the numbers on the header of this page and rearrange them in some way? Cross out the sixth recursion of each stated number of this page? Crossing out all the ‘14s’ on this page? There were a near infinite amount of ways this header could be interpreted, and I have no idea how to proceed...

Moreover, while the alphabet portion could be converted into numbers with little problem, the first ‘letter’ in the header remain mysterious. This 23 at the start of the header, separated from the rest with a dash sign, proved to be the most frustrating and enigmatic part of the header.

“Why is this even here?”
I scratched the back of my head, staring at the innocuous numeral that directed the rest of the header. Without any hints or directions to go by, this numeral could mean anything. It could be just a number like the rest of this page, some sequencing method… or perhaps it held some other literal meaning?

I’ll have to try out all three methods individually. I can’t even begin to imagine how long trying to make sense of just this one page might be, but then again, what other choices were there?

Now that I have a plan, I suppose I should start with the most straight forward possibility.
If I were to translate according to the poem, ‘23’ should reflect the kana “む”. For literal translation the number ‘six’ pops into mind, as well as the kanji ‘昔(past)’ and '無 (none)’...

Wait, “None”?
Could it be? Could it truly be that simple-
“Subaru? Are you in there?”
I jolted out of my seat as a familiar feminine voice interrupted my line of thoughts just as I felt I was onto something. The soft, concerned tone gave way to me easily identifying the incoming guest.
“Subaru? Is something wrong?”
There was no mistake, Yanagi was at the door, probably to check up on my well being again. Considering the troubled state I presented myself during the last time we met, I can’t fault her for harboring more worries. I truly appreciate her concern, had it came at any time other than now.

“I’d love to see what he’s up to, being absent from his duty again.” A thriftier voice followed in a mocking tone. It surely wasn’t Hibari, though I do have an idea as to who might be accompanying my friend this time around.

“P-please give me a moment!” I shouted immediately in response as I shut off the microfilm reader, trying to best to minimize the chance of it getting kicked open like last time. Next, I stormed out the study and grabbed the blanket lying on the bed, then quickly draped it over the monolithic machinery to shield it from view.

“Is everything alright there?” Yanagi’s crisp knock rang through the whitewood door again, just as I rushed out of the study and shut the study door behind me, almost tripping over the piles of files on my way out.
“Of course!” I replied as I got to the door, trying to sound as natural as possible. “What’s the matter?”
“M-may I come in?”
“Sure thing!”
The doorknob turned sideways, and with a hollow creek, the rest of the door opened to my friend, who appeared slightly relieved upon seeing me. Accompanying her this time was none other than Akane Akasaka - the infamous and enigmatic tanker had her arms tucked on her hips. As our eyes met, her mouth twirled into a displeased pout.

“Good morning.” I tried to break the conversation with a friendly greeting. “What brought you here today?”
Yanagi’s expressions softened, looking visibly relieved to my ‘normal’ attitude. She opened her mouth to speak but was cut off as Akane stormed past her in an instant.

“So, what reason have you to leave a sleeping, defenseless girl to her lonesome in the boiler room?” Akane planted herself firmly before me while shooting me an accusing glare. “Weren’t you supposed to be taking care of her?”
Instinct directed my eyes towards the clock strung upon the walls. Whereas the last time I checked it was 5:45am, the hands now struck firmly at 8:55am.
“Leaving Miss Denisov all by her lonesome self, not even having the courtesy to prepare breakfast…” She took a step forward, then lightly jabbed her finger on my left chest. “That’s quite heartless of you, Captain.”
I clocked my head slightly to the right, looking slightly over Akane’s shoulder, signaling Yanagi to please step in. To my dismay, Yanagi didn’t respond to any queues for help, her only reaction being an unconcerned shrug.

”What’s so important that you had to abandon Miss Denisov to return here, I wonder?”

>That was not my intention
>I was reading some of the Captain’s logs, and fell asleep halfway through.
>We can talk about this later, I have to attend to Denisov-san first
>I was taking a look at some classified materials
>Write in.
>I was reading some of the Captain’s logs, and fell asleep halfway through.
>That was not my intention
>I was reading some of the Captain’s logs, and fell asleep halfway through.
Threadly reminder that Akasaka and Satoru killed our sister.
>Snap at Akane in some manner. Who is she to accuse us of anything? By all rights we should order her to kommit seppuku for what she did.
>I was reading some of the Captain’s logs, and fell asleep halfway through.
Well no, the blame is completely on Satoru. Akane literally just did what she was ordered to do on her station.
She could've behaved at least a bit conscious about that.
“I was going through some of Captain Suwabe’s logs. Must’ve fallen asleep halfway through.” I answered somewhat truthfully while omitting the other half of my earlier actions.
“Were they that important?” Akane narrowed her eyes, unconvinced by the answer. “So important you’d fall asleep reading them, hmm?”

I took a step back to get myself some distance from her. “It is utmost imperative to know what sort of enemies we will be encountering in the future.”

“Oh? So what did you learn from the files that we do not already know of?'” She inquired with a grin, placing a finger on her delicate cheek.
“The members and tactics of the Phantom Swallows, for instance. The archives detailed the ways they fight, including how they respond to counterattacks. They are most likely the same group that assaulted us back in Amekou, and we’re likely to face them again”
She raised an eyebrow in suspicion.
“Is that all? I feel like there's more. Are you, perhaps, not telling us everything...?"
Still wearing the same grin Akane took another step forward, causing me to step back reflexively.

“Akasaka-san, Subaru wouldn’t do such-”
Yanagi looked over at me with concern. However, her intervention wasn’t quite enough to satisfy Akane’s morbid curiosity.

“I’d like to take for myself if that’s possible?” She pressed on while shooting a glance at the study room’s entrance. A chill went down my spine the very instant under the very possible scenario where Akane might just reach out and push it open.
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She decided to spare me some courtesy and instead quickly snapped back to meet me in the eye.
“May I?” She asked with a flash of her long, sparkling eyelashes. Now she was just making it difficult for me to have an out from this position.
"What's the matter, Captain? It’s not like you have anything to hide… Or is there?"

I shook my head in denial as I attempted to ward off Akane’s intense persistence. Yet the more I tried to resist, the harder she bit down. It was almost as if she was engaging an enemy.

"So, what is in there that you so desperately don't want us to see?" Her smirk grew wider, confident that she’s got me dancing in her palms.
“Intimate pictures? A personal hit list? Or could it be something but far more… precious?”
The very way she finished that sentence made a drop of cold sweat slither down my temples.
“What could it be?” To my dismay, I noticed Akane sliding a hand towards the knob of the study’s entrance.

>Step in and block her right there.
>Not even asking for permission?
>Fine, see for yourself
>Write in
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>Step in and block her right there.
I personally am tired of her shit. Tell her off. Give her a piece of our mind. Tell her to go to hell.
She killed our sister and now has the gall to try this bullshit?
Fuck her sideways.
You can use the above as the base of Subaru's dialogue if you want.
>Fine, see for yourself
>Step in and block her right there.

I'm not as upset towards Akane as some other anons are but right now she's clearly overstepping her authority.
But going by how she has been portrayed throughout the quest she may as well be doing this intentionally to bring some guts out of our MC.
I'd bring her guts out of her. With a sharp implement.
>Step in and block her right there.

Yeah, sounds like provocation alright
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I’m not going to allow her to do whatever she pleases, particularly with the magnitude of what lies beyond that door. The moment Akane turned the knob and attempted to push the door open, I rushed forward and firmly planted myself between the all too curious tanker and the slightly opened door.

“This room is off bounds,” I stated as calmly as I could, keeping my eyes on the tanker as I blocked off any opportunity for her to sneak across.
Akane retracted her hand, then stared straight into my eyes. Her gleaming glint of curiosity and ambition replaced not with the frustration of being rejected, but rather her all so familiar elusive grin.
“Oh? Why so tough all of a sudden?”
“Because it’s my privacy,” I answered, determined to stand my ground.

“Subaru, Akasaka-san! That’s enough!”
My friend’s crisp voice manifested like a sudden explosion that caught our attention and interrupted the standoff. The two of us reared our heads towards the young engineer, who quickly stepped in and placed a hand on both of our shoulders.

“What’s behind that door must be very important for Subaru, so shouldn’t we respect his privacy?” Yanagi came to my defense without hesitation. “Besides, we’re here to check on how he’s doing, right? He’s looking fine, so isn’t that enough?.”

“I guess you’re right.”
Reluctantly, Akane took a step back and held up her hands in resignation. “Perhaps I was a bit too... forceful with my approach. I apologize.”

“Fine.” I sighed in acceptance. “Just tell me what sort of information you’re looking for.”
“Anything you find noteworthy about our enemies will do.” Akane shrugged, reverting back to her usual laid back and teasing attitude. “Don’t feel too shy to share.”

“I’ll see if find any,” I replied calmly, arms crossed before my chest. The information the files contain on Lady Sima and her band of subordinates were as abundant as drops of water in an ocean, and I doubt it’d be an easy task to go through them all.
“Don’t worry Captain. I’m not in a hurry.” She quipped playfully. “Don’t forget, you’ve also got your duties as Denisov-san’s caretaker.”
Akane spun around gracefully and walked towards the entrance of the Captain’s chambers.
“I shall be returning to my duties as well. Please don’t let her down again, Captain.” She stated with a sly grin and a half-hearted salute. “Glad to see you’ve grown back your spine too.”
Dropping her final remark, Akane quickly left the room before I had the chance to speak to her again.

I blanked out for a second, so was this her intention all along? It… was a bit crass and unpleasant of an approach, but this sort of subtle approach fell in line to how Akane usually operated. But besides Akane...

I turned to my friend with an appreciative smile. “Thank you, Yanagi.”
“Don’t mention it” She shrugged, hands placed on her waist “But I got to say, you really aren’t good at this.”
“Which is why I’m glad to have you around.”

“Well I can’t be covering you all the time, you know?” She pouted as she pointed at my face. “Be more direct next time for fuck’s sake. Remember, to be the Captain, you’ll need to act like one.”
She finishes up and tapped me on the chest. For some reason, this little act of encouragement filled me up with the courage to carry on.

“I’ll do my best.”
“You better.” She smiled as she retracted her hand. “By the way, what exactly was this ‘duty’ Akane-san has been speaking of? ”
“Not much, Just helping Margaret-san in her day to day needs while she powers the ship in the boiler room. What about it?”
“No, nothing. Just curious.” She responded nonchalantly… surprisingly nonchalantly in fact, given her past track record when matters relating to Margaret was brought up.

>Ask if she’s really alright.
>Ask where the Yamato is now, then head for the bridge
>Tend to Margaret, caring for her is part of my duty for now
>Ask Yanagi if she has the wiretapping ready, and install them in the boiler room together.
>Write in
>Ask Yanagi if she has the wiretapping ready, and install them in the boiler room together.
Is Akane a psychopath? She's behaving as if nothing happened with Tewi at all.
>Ask Yanagi if she has the wiretapping ready, and install them in the boiler room together.
>Ask where the Yamato is now, then head for the bridge

I'm pretty sure that QM intended to have an indirectly helpful onee-san type character but ended up making her look like a psycho.
Then again, she worked under an incestuous megalomaniac Illuminati that treated her like cannon fodder before coming to Zipang. It's likely that she's already broken from the get-go
>Ask Yanagi if she has the wiretapping ready, and install them in the boiler room together.
I did not expect her to be confrontational when Subaru is still trying to deal with a loss. But at least she's still on our side
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Yanagi’s calmer than usual response aside, this topic about Margaret reminded me of another important matter at hand related to the Valkyria.

“Yanagi, are we ready to begin wiretapping Margaret-san?”
“Wiretapping?” Yanagi clocked her head sideways and raised a brow. “Ah, you mean intercepting the transmissions from her brother?”

“Yes, that. How’s the progress?”
“We’re not technically wiretapping, Subaru. We’re trying to receive the transmission alongside her. Moreover, have you forgotten about the frequency?”

The frequency? I vaguely remember Akane mentioned the exact same thing during my little...encounter with her in Formosa.

“Can’t we just scan which channels have transmissions instead?”
I suggested, recalling my experience using commercial radios from time to time.

Yanagi paused upon hearing my response, then rolled her eyes before letting out a long sigh before turning back at me.
“Subaru, that’d be like searching for a needle in a haystack, without any knowledge of what the needle even looks like.” She rebutted, hands crossed before her chest and barely hiding her annoyance at my ignorance.

While it did seem like a wondrous idea in my head, my friend clearly did not share that same sentiment.

“I need to know the frequency band before I can begin modifying the antenna to pinpoint the transmission” Yanagi shrugged, before returning to a more cheerful demeanor.
“Fortunately, you’re in the prime spot to find it.”

It didn’t take the mind of a genius to figure out the sort of plan she was up to, and the role I’m supposed to play in it.
“So you’re suggesting I’ll have to obtain the communication frequency directly? Sounds simple enough.” I commented sarcastically, to which she quickly caught on and responded with a lighted hearted chuckle.

“Yep, then maybe we can finally begin to unravel the mystery of the Denisov clan!” She patted me on the shoulder, filled with jolly. “Here’s me wishing you the best of luck!”

“You’d better, or we’d be both stuck looking for that needle in the haystack!”

The two of us exchanged a few friendly quibbles before Yanagi waved me goodbye and went on her way to carry out her usual duties. Once I was certain she was sufficiently far away, I headed back into the study to retrieve the precious microfilm, placing it into the waterproof pouch I kept with myself at all times.
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I didn’t leave the room before double-checking that I have locked every possible door, finally shutting the entrance of the captain’s chambers as I entered the corridor. One can never be too careful with sensitive material, after all.

7:50 am. A bit late for the busy schedule of the crew on a super battleship, but still within breakfast hours in the mess hall. As I joined the queue in preparation to fetch meals for myself and Margaret, I began hatching a plan on how I should approach her on the topic...

>Just straight up ask Margaret about it, she might even allow me to speak with her brother directly
>Loosen her lips with some alcohol
>Continue to monitor the situation and see what clues might be left around
>Write in
>Continue to monitor the situation and see what clues might be left around
>Continue to monitor the situation and see what clues might be left around
>Loosen her lips with some alcohol
Taking this simply for the sort of scenes that may follow up
>loosen her lips with some alcohol
Trying to get a Not!Ruskie drunk? Oh boy
>Just straight up ask Margaret about it, she might even allow me to speak with her brother directly

Though risky, I feel this is actually the best form of approach going by how much Margaret trusts us, and by extension the straightforward way she operates.
Moreover, since we are in charge of the ship now, it's only natural for Konstantin to speak to us for better coordination. That's something we could press in the scenario where Margaret turns us down.
>Loosen her lips with some alcohol
>Just straight up ask Margaret about it, she might even allow me to speak with her brother directly
The next update would be a really long post, so I archived the thread first.

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